By the end of this section, you will be able to:
- 1 List the key performance indicators (KPIs) for measuring the effectiveness of an advertising campaign.
- 2 Describe how each KPI is measured.
Key Metrics in Measuring Success
The most well-planned advertising campaigns are only effective if they bring about some result. Marketers use performance metrics to determine the effectiveness of a campaign.
Key performance indicators (KPIs) are indicators that measure how an advertising campaign is achieving certain goals or objectives. There are several KPIs marketers choose to measure to determine the impact of an advertising campaign. These metrics help marketers make changes to campaigns in order to meet the goals and objectives set forth.
Brand recognition refers to the ability of a campaign audience to recognize and identify a specific brand. It measures the extent to which an audience can identify a brand with only a logo or photo. Depending on the advertising media used, marketers will choose the most appropriate metric to measure brand recognition. There are also numerous brand-tracking software programs that will gather this data for marketers.
While brand recognition and brand awareness sound very similar, there is a distinct difference. Brand awareness takes recognition a step further to determine if audiences can recall information about the brand. Awareness often seeks to determine the emotions and impressions that a campaign has raised with specific advertisements.
Impressions (Ad Views)
During an advertising campaign, marketers are also interested in quantifying how many times an advertisement appears in a chosen medium, known as impressions. To calculate impressions, you need to first determine the rating of the advertisement. The rating is simply a percentage of the target audience that is reached with an advertisement. This data is often gathered by outside firms, such as Nielsen, a long-time marketing research firm.
The following is the accepted impressions formula:
Let’s assume that one of your television advertisements ran 2 times this week. Your target audience is 1 million people. You discover that your ad has a rating of 30 percent, or 0.30. Using the impressions formula
A conversion rate refers to the percentage of an audience that has completed a desired action. The formula for conversion rate is
For example, a web page advertisement may be attempting to get a viewer to click on the advertisement.
The conversion rate, then, would be the percentage of those viewers who clicked on the advertisement. Using our example of the web page advertisement, let’s assume that our audience size 500,000 and the number of converts (that is, the number of viewers who click the ad) is 100,000. Our conversion rate would be
While industry averages can vary, generally a conversion rate somewhere between 2 percent and 5 percent for traditional marketing and above 10% for digital marketing is considered effective.11
Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)
Marketers are also often interested in calculating the return on advertising spending. Return on ad spend (ROAS) is a metric that measures the amount of revenue earned for every dollar spending on advertising. Unlike the other metrics discussed, ROAS utilizes the revenue from advertising. To calculate ROAS, you will simply divide the revenue for a given period by the advertising dollars in the period. The ROAS formula is
Let’s assume your company spent $1,000 on an online campaign in a given month. The revenue generated from this campaign was $5,000. Your ROAS for this campaign in this period would be $5, or a 5:1 ratio:
In other words, for every $1 spent on advertisement, your company generated $5 in revenue.
It’s time to check your knowledge on the concepts presented in this section. Refer to the Answer Key at the end of the book for feedback.
Measuring the Impact of Advertising
When marketing professionals purchase advertising, they are primarily interested in who will see it. Advertising is dependent on views, as it is not direct response like search or email marketing. Therefore, marketing professionals are looking for the biggest bang for their buck. This is where cost per thousand (CPM) comes in. The “M” in cost per thousand represents the Latin term mille. CPM is the cost to advertise to 1,000 people.
An advertisement’s cost per thousand depends on a variety of factors. One such factor is how targeted an ad is to a given audience. Targetability increases the cost per thousand. Another factor is whether the media is digital or traditional. Traditional media (television, radio, print, and outdoor) have a higher CPM than digital advertising. Niche media may have higher CPM than mass media.
There are some legitimate criticisms of CPM. First, an ad view does not indicate an intent to purchase. It simply means that a prospective customer saw the ad. We have no way of knowing whether the ad was persuasive or changed behavior. CPM does not allow us to track behavior. Next, ad views may be duplicative or not properly targeted, potentially wasting the impression. For example, if you see an ad for the same running shoe three times and you’re not a runner, the brand wasted three impressions on you because you have no intent to purchase. Finally, ads may not run or load as intended, wasting advertising dollars on a failed impression.
Let’s revisit our ice cream shop from Integrated Marketing Communications. We decided to run an advertising campaign in the local newspaper. We paid $1,000 for 2,000 impressions. What is our CPM?
Last period, we acquired 15 customers from our advertising campaign with an average customer lifetime value of $50. Did our advertising campaign have a profitable result in the last period?
No. We spent $1,000 on advertising and gained $750 in revenue.
Let’s say we decide to reallocate our $1,000 advertising spend on a more targeted campaign. Do you expect that our CPM will increase or decrease?
CPM will most likely increase because targeted media typically has a higher CPM.